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Those Celts were make for rocking

by Wren Wertin

The Young Dubliners get jiggy with it, every time.

Known for drawing a crowd eager to jump in the jig pit – as opposed to mosh pit – the Celtic rock group makes regular stops in Colorado during their touring seasons. They play with Short Term Memory today at State Bridge Lodge in Bond at 5 p.m.

The outdoor venue is a good match for the musicians, as they have a penchant for frolicsome melodies interwoven with driving beats and raucous rhythms.



Keith Roberts is the band leader. Born and raised in Dublin, he was bitten by the music bug at an early age. Every time he attended a concert, he’d imagine his name on the ticket stub. But the life of a musician can be a dubious one, and when it came time to leave the nest, he opted to study journalism instead.

That sensible direction didn’t last long. While interning at L.A.’s KCET radio station, he was inspired to “have a go at music.” And so he did.



“I was always someone who vowed that no matter what I did, I would get good at it,” wrote Roberts. “Nothing else was making me feel the way music did at the shows we were doing S so I worked on getting better. And it grew and grew. If you’re good and people actually like what you’re doing, you will be moved along by circumstance.”

Sometimes circumstances get a shot in the arm from celebrity status. The Young Dubs benefitted from the word-of-mouth publicity of folks including Rosie O’Donnell, Michael Keaton, Dan Akroyd, Daryl Hannah and Tori Spelling, to shamelessly drop a few names.

The jig pit evolved from the mosh pit. From on stage, guitarist and lead vocalist Roberts could espy people being swallowed whole by the mosh pit. Where’s the fun in that?



“People were getting hurt in the mosh pit, so we encouraged them to jump up and down instead of smashing into each other,” said Roberts. “It got dubbed the jig pit by other people, and it became something they practiced. I guess people can be good at it or bad at it, but I’m not sure why.”

The group is working on their fifth album, a collaborative effort between all the band members. Because everybody is involved in the development and writing stage, the word on the street is it captures the essence of their live show.

It’s also a continuation of the new approach they began exploring in their last album, “Absolutely.”

“It really is a reflection of the band,” wrote Roberts. “It’s got the sense of humor of the band, along with the balls-y lyrics that maybe in the past I couldn’t bring myself to write. You put it all together and you get this good-feeling, upbeat album. That’s why we titled the album like we did. This record is the Young Dubliners, absolutely.”

And the Young Dubliners are all about the jig pit, absolutely.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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